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ERIC Number: EJ851082
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0147-1635
Writing Partners: Service Learning as a Route to Authority for Basic Writers
Gabor, Catherine
Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v28 n1 p50-70 2009
This article looks at best practices in basic writing instruction in terms of non-traditional audiences and writerly authority. Much conventional wisdom discourages participation in service-learning projects for basic writers because of the assumption that their writing is not yet ready to "go public." Countering this line of thinking, the author argues that a service-learning project called Writing Partners offers a promising pedagogical approach. Through Writing Partners, college students in basic writing classes write letters to and mentor disadvantaged elementary school students. Participants in many service-learning experiences encounter the (silenced) discourses of race and class in programs where the "served" are often racial minorities and/or less socio-economically privileged than their "server" partners at colleges and universities. However, participant positionalities in the Writing Partners project are much more fluid, for the basic writing students must simultaneously negotiate their "server" positions relative to the elementary school students and their "less privileged" status in the university. As BW students become more aware of their audience's needs by corresponding with their young partners, they develop increased authority as writers.
Kingsborough Community College City University of New York. Available from: Boyd Printing Company, Inc. 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Tel: 800-877-2693; Tel: 518-436-9686; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A